Rubio’s Challenge: Persuading Conservatives He Hasn’t Been Duped on Immigration

Monday, 29 Apr 2013 09:57 PM

By Greg Richter

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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has been the face of the immigration reform bill of late.

Elected with tea party support, the conservative of Cuban heritage has been facing criticism that he’s perhaps been duped by Democrats and more moderate members of his own party, NPR reports.

Rubio has been making the rounds of conservative talk shows, and when he appeared on Laura Ingraham’s show, she flat-out asked him, "Isn't it reasonable for these conservatives to assume that you've been duped here?"

"No, it isn't," Rubio said, "because the fact of the matter is that this bill reflects principles that I issued back in January on immigration reform that were different from the principles the president had laid out.”

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The Democrats have come to the Republicans’ position, he said, not the other way around.

Rubio also appeared on The Rush Limbaugh Show. Rubio was treated respectfully, but Limbaugh later told his audience, "There's no doubt there's a correlation: '86 amnesty and the Republican Party lost California," he said.

Limbaugh fears the same fate could happen to the entire country if the 11 million illegals are given a path to citizenship. He and many other conservatives believe the 1986 amnesty bill approved by President Ronald Reagan put California permanently in the Democrats’ column.

Republicans pushing immigration reform are pushing back with ads that say the country already has “de facto amnesty" and that the bill “the toughest enforcement measure in the history of the United States."

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